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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Clutch, Shift, Go....

2002 Mustang GT on ramps
After 8 years, it was time to replace the clutch on the 2002 Ford Mustang GT.
It originally started as a project to replace just the throw-out bearing...
The exhaust, starter, shifter and transmission were all removed.
Since the car was in pieces, we went ahead and replaced the clutch too.
2002 Ford Mustang GT Transmission Photo
The clutch was ordered and we had to wait a few days for its arrival.
Once it came in, we found that it was the wrong
one...sized for a V6 and not the V8.
Lesson: Always check the ordered parts against the originals
before leaving the store!
It was during this waiting period that photos were taken.
Have you ever seen the inside of the tranny?
Underneath 2002 Ford Mustang GT TranmissionThis is under the car, at night, looking up at where
the transmission would have been.
You can see there were connections that needed to be disconnected too.
2002 Ford Mustang GT Disconnected Exhaust Pipes
Underneath the car, looking toward the back of the car.
Here you can see the disconnected exhaust pipes.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Something's Missing...

Even while undergoing a serious procedure, we still manage to have fun...
2002 Mustang GT Shifter Removed and Mechanic Looking InsideMy mechanic seems surprised to see me.
2002 Mustang GT Shifter Removed and Smiling Mechanic Wait...Everything seems good, so far. 2002 Mustang GT Shifter Removed and Hand Coming From Under Car Yikes! I think something got him! Details at 11.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Check Engine

Service Engine Soon Dash Light from 2002 Ford Mustang GT Usually, this light is a sign that the engine should be looked at sooner rather than later...except, it doesn't specify what to look at, exactly. Typically, you can rule out Oil, Brakes and Battery, since those items are covered by other warning lights. Once the engine has had a chance to cool down, open the hood and check for any visible signs of wear and tear on the belts, hoses and wires. Then go on to check the Air Filter, Radiator/Antifreeze Levels, and this may sound weird, but check the gas cap to make sure it's securely tightened. If you don't find anything right away, then you would want to make a stop at your local auto store and put a deposit on a diagnostic tool. The codes that the diagnostic provides will clue you in on what might be the issue. You can find the key to the codes in the car manual, a repair manual for your make/model or even online.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mike Buehler's Blue Mustang

1986 Ford Mustang Fox-Body Front View at Marion, TX Race Track This past weekend, we had the opportunity to head over to the local race track in Marion, Texas.
As we were walking through the pit area, we saw Mike Buehler who was sitting in his trailer, listening to the radio, waiting patiently for the qualifying runs to begin.

1986 Ford Mustang GT Fox-Body Side View After asking if we could take a closer look at his car, he turned down the radio and walked out of his trailer so that he could answer our questions. Mike was even gracious enough to let us take photographs of him and his car, while explaining some of the finer details. I explained to him that I have a particular affinity for this car, since my first car was a 1985 Mustang LX. It had midnight blue paint, with the black molding and chrome trim around the windows just like Mike's! But, that's where the similarities end. Front View 1986 Ford Mustang GT He proudly told us that the 1986 Mustang coupe has a 302 bored out to a 306. Mike also stated that the engine was approximately 15 years old... which goes to show that properly maintained, an engine will perform for years! Mike also pointed out that the interior was stripped of anything and everything that wasn't needed for racing. Eliminating additional weight and most amenities, is the norm, so there was no passenger seat, rear seat, door panels or radio! Aside from the roll cage and racing seat, the only other items inside were the tachometer and a few other gauges necessary to monitor the performance of the car. Seeing Mike's Mustang on the track gave me a glimpse of the possibilities of what the '85 might have evolved into. If Mike's car is any indication of how it might have turned out, then I'm sure I'd be just as proud.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fox Body Mustang 5.0

1987 Ford Mustang 5.0 Black Fox-Body MustangFox Body Mustangs made their initial appearance in 1979. Ford manufactured this body style throughout the 80's, onto the 90's, until the body style changed in 1994. The photo above is of a 1987 Ford Mustang GT 5.0. Can you believe that back in the day, the base price for a Mustang GT around $11,300? In the 80's, this was the car that everyone wanted to be seen in. It's amazing how the Mustang holds so many fond memories. While fueling up the car, or sitting a stop light, many have approached or signaled to me to say 'Nice Car' or 'I had a car like that!' They'll go on to tell me their stories, about how they remember cruising with friends, crankin' up the radio, heading the park, the beach or the mall. Whether you had a notchback, hatchback or convertible, it would be great to hear your stories and if you have a photo, even better. Leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pressured

Ford Mustang Logo on Mustang GT rim As the weather begins to change, from hot, humid temperatures to cooler, fall temperatures, it would be a good idea to get in the habit of checking the air pressure of your vehicle's tires regularly. Weather changes can have an effect on the air pressure within the tires, leading to improper grip on the road, abnormal wear of the tire tread and a decrease in fuel economy. Cooler weather causes air to contract, which decreases the tire pressure. This is why tires go low, even if the tire isn't leaking from a puncture or faulty air valve stem. It's best to check the tire pressure before that first drive of the day, since driving causes the air in the tires to warm up. Keep an air gauge in the car, either in the glove compartment or the center console. Now, imagine if you've been running on an under-inflated tire... Under-inflation causes drag, since the weight of the car rides on less air and increases the footprint of the tire as it pancakes. This increasing pressure on the tire, requires more power to overcome, thereby decreasing fuel economy, and introducing more strain on the drive train of the vehicle. The tire with low air pressure will have more contact with the road, leading it to wear down faster than the others. And, if the tire is extremely low, it could damage or even break the rim if a curb, railroad track or pothole were driven over. Be safe, not only for yourself and the passengers in your car, but for other drivers as well. Don't let something this easy cause you pain and misery in your wallet later. Check the air pressure in your tires, today.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Car Show in San Antonio

The San Antonio Mustang Club is hosting a car show at Bass Pro Shops in San Antonio, on October 25, 2009, from 11am-4pm CST. The car show is open to all makes, models and years. You can register early, through Oct 17 and save a few dollars or register the day of the show from 8am-11am. We attended the car show last year as spectators and depending on the weather, will most likely attend this year, too. There were a lot of cars with owners eager to talk about the latest upgrade completed, and future projects they had in mind. The car show benefits the Dare to Love program, which is a non-profit organization. If you'd like more information or would like to pre-register, please visit the San Antonio Mustang Club's site.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Brakes 101

video

First the ABS warning light appeared on the dashboard. Then, terrible grinding noises were heard with each push of the brake pedal. It was time for new front brakes for the 2002 Ford Mustang GT. Saturday was spent on this task and it would have gone by faster, but I was there taking photos of EVERYthing, slowing down the process somewhat. But, it was conveniently done for you! After jacking up the car and removing the tire, the brake assembly is visible. There are a couple of bolts to remove so that the caliper can be moved out of the way to check the brake pads and rotor. Make sure not to pinch, break or twist the brake line when moving the caliper out of the way, and it's best to support the caliper during the process, that way the brake line doesn't collapse internally. This would be an ideal time to make sure the line isn't cracked or leaking any brake fluid, and also provides ample opportunity to clean the Wheel Speed Sensors. These are the probes that read a magnetic signal off the sprocket shaped wheel inboard of the Brake assembly. Usually they just accumulate metallic flakes from the rotors, and it's wise to clean them with brake cleaner. Should the WSS get dirty, or be damaged the Electronic Control Unit will display a ABS light on the dash when everything is reassembled. If the WSS is damaged, be sure to replace it. The rotor was worn and there was no meat left on the brake pads. Metal on metal just isn't a sound that anyone wants to hear, plus it's just like welding two pieces of hot metal together. It's just not safe, and very annoying. A quick trip to the auto parts store was needed. In order to get the correct parts, be sure to have the year, make and model of the vehicle. It also doesn't hurt to know the engine size (5.0, 4.6, etc). Taking your vehicle to a dealer, or to a location that performs brake work, can be costly and very expensive. Doing the work yourself, can be rewarding, as well as enlightening. After hearing the selection for brake pads, we settled on the ceramic option. Ceramic pads displace heat a lot faster than any other material available for brakes, and they produce less brake dust, thereby keeping the rims clean and presentable. Sometimes, you can have the rotors "TURNED" so that you can reuse them, other times, they need to replaced altogether. This was one of those instances where they constituted being replaced. Rotors are available standard disc, drilled, slotted, or both. We opted to replace the standard undrilled, and unslotted rotors. Drilled and slotted rotors have increased ventilation in the rotor surface, allowing rapid heat dissipation and more effective cooling. Brakes that do not heat up as quickly provide for faster deceleration, and help eliminate brake fade, and glazing. Depending on your driving style, and application, it's wise to select the best option for your vehicle. Deciding to spice up the brakes a bit, we took a little longer by painting the calipers using a hi-temp caliper paint. Keeping with the black/red theme of the car, the calipers were painted red and can be seen easily behind the rim, adding to the aesthetic appeal of the car. After the paint had dried it was time to reinstall the caliper. Prior to fitting the caliper onto the brake assembly, we had to clamp the pistons so they are fully retracted. Clamping the caliper allows clearance for the new pads, and the new rotor. We used large "C" clamps, and the old brake pad, which give us a surface over the pistons. Once the pistons are fully retracted, discard the old brake pad, and carefully reinstall the caliper. If not installed quickly, the pistons will re-extend, and the process will have to be repeated. Usually, depending on what model Mustang you own, you may encounter a caliper that has more than 2 pistons, this is a High Performance caliper, and they come standard on the Cobra and Shelby. If you have brake drag and the vehicle pulls to one side while driving, this is generally resultant of a stuck piston, or air in the brake line. Replacement calipers are available at your local auto parts store, so take the faulty one with you for comparison, unless your performing a upgrade. Be sure to bleed all the brakes for residual air, regardless of whether or not you have replaced the caliper. Bleeding the brakes requires 2 people, one person to depress the brake pedal and another to loosen the set screw, or bolt on the inboard side of the caliper, normally where the brake line attaches. Once brake fluid comes out consistently, and there are no air bubbles, or pockets, tighten the bolt or screw, and the job is complete.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Big and Small Mustangs

2000 Ford Mustang GT with matching Johnny Lightning Toy Car

I bought the small Mustang to be used as a cake decoration for my husband's birthday, one year ago. After receiving it in the mail, I promptly took it in for minor modifications...from green paint with yellow stripes to red paint and black stripes to coordinate with the life-size version.

So while big brother gets to cruise in the street, the pint-size Mustang is parked on our computer desk, serving as a reminder that the bigger the toy is, the more expensive the mods are.

Monday, August 24, 2009

CraigsListers!

We're constantly searching for parts and since we are, we're sure you are too. This isn't a advertisement for Craigslist.com, but I'm sure posts like these will help if your looking and can't find something. Do you have a need for an auto part that is costly or just plain hard to find? Once you've looked at the usual places (salvage yards, auto parts stores or even the dealer), cruise on over to the Craigslist site. The Craigslist site enables someone to post an ad, for free, whether they are selling an item or want to buy (WTB) something. Select your state and city (or nearest city) and click on either the Auto Parts or Cars+Trucks section. In your city or a city near you, there just might be someone selling that part or even the whole car that you're looking for. Usually the cheapest way to find anything around is to just keep looking, if you can wait. There's no guarantee that the item your looking for on any particular day will be listed or even near you, but it's worth a shot. Searching on CraigsList, also encourages person to person interaction. If you have the gift of gab, and can talk a mean deal, you might get what you're looking for at the right price. You might even meet someone who shares the same enthusiam for cars, or who knows the best mechanic in town or where you can get a good deal on tires or other parts. Once you find the item that you're looking for, ask questions, lots of questions: 1. Does it work? 2. How old is it? 3. When was it last used? 4. Any signs of rust? 5. What year/make/model did it come from? 6. Any additional photos? 7. Are all the parts/pieces included? 8. Can I see it and the condition it's in? Once you've determined that it's worth looking into further, always, make safety for yourself priority one: 1. Meet in a public location, if possible. 2. Get a phone number and a description of the vehicle they're driving, so you know what to look for. 3. If at all possible, take someone with you, or at least let someone know where you'll be meeting. 4. Take your cell phone. 5. Don't take more than what you've already agreed upon, since you might find the particular items condition less appreciable. 6. It never hurts to haggle, talk them down, or simply bargain a fair price. Take into consideration the distance your going to get this item, that way you'll have gas money for the return trip home. Don't feel pressured to buy an item just because you've inquired about it or saw it in person. Make sure it's exactly what you need, do your homework. (Trust me, it's all good that you bought twin turbos for an application, but if you discover they're smaller than what you need, your shafted.) If it's not, just let them know it's not going to work for what you need it for and thank them for meeting with you. If you have Mustang parts or a whole car that you're selling or looking for, let us know. We can also post it on this blog for more exposure. Good Luck and be Safe.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

2002 Mustang GT vs Insurance Company

video It started off to be a good day, after all it was Friday! We were on our usual route to school that morning when another car pulled out from a stop sign, directly in our path. Apparently, having my fog lights on wasn't enough to alert the other driver that I was even there. When I think about it, I can still see the hood of my car lift up and move towards me as the cars made contact and see the airbag deploy in front of my daughter and the feel of the seat belt tightening up. I can still hear the incredible impact sounds that cars made as they collided with one another. After making sure everyone was ok for the moment, I inspected my Mustang GT. From what I saw, it wasn't too bad. No fluids leaking, no smoking. I was able to start it and move it out of traffic. Apparently, the insurance agents saw it a different way. I received a phone call to release the car to them. I questioned them. Why? What are you going to do to it? Where will it be taken? Their response? It's a total loss. WHAT?! A bumper, a headlight, a quarter panel, 2 airbags, a hood and some paint, plus labor fees. Totalled? I think not. NO WAY. I knew that the damage that my Mustang sustained was completely repairable. For about a week, I was being pressured by my former insurance company to release the car to them... but I wanted the other driver's insurance company to repair my car, since I was not at fault for this incident. The other driver's insurance company flip-flopped. We ran through some numbers. Cost of repairs. Value of car. Cost of an equivalent car. First they agreed to repair it. Then they totalled it, citing airbags were costly to replace. SO?! It's not like I can make the airbags deploy on command. They deployed for a reason for which I was not to be blamed. I wanted my car repaired. I wanted my car repaired at their expense. Heck, I didn't even get a rental car at any time during which this was taking place. After weeks of being hassled to relenquish the car and being told that storage fees were being racked up, they relented. It took about 3 months and many, many headaches and phone calls. About 3 weeks after the repairs were initiated, we were back. Back in Black...and Red. Do you have any insurance horror stories? Want to share them? Let's swap stories. Email Me. Today.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rear Axle Wisdom

2000 Ford Mustang GT with Rear Wheel Removed
Our 2000 Mustang GT has been making that washing machine sound, so I thought it would be wise to check the fluid in the rear differential, since it's over the 120,000 mile mark. It's usually good to check the fluid in the rear axle every 20-30K miles, since failure to do so can lead to a very expensive repair, and alot of frustration.
After checking the fluid and deciding that it was time to flush it out and replace it, we got the car on jackstands, removing the two rear tires for better clearance.
2000 Ford Mustang Rear Differential Cover Removed
Removing the rear differential cover wasn't too hard, which then exposed the gears that happen to look like a large meat grinder. (Comforting thought, huh?) Funding doesn't allow for upgrades only maintenance, so the stock gears remain in the car. One day, though, these will be upgraded.
2000 Ford Mustang GT Stock Gears
While the fluid and gunk was draining out into the drip pan below, I set out to clean up the cover with aluminum wool after scraping the old sealant off. Both inside and out, the cover cleaned up nicely...nothing beats a little elbow grease!
2000 Ford Mustang GT Differential Cover Cleaned Up
It was time to seal and bolt it back onto the car. After waiting about 10 minutes for the sealant to cure, store brand 80 W 90 was poured in until the oil seeped out of the filler plug, telling me it was FULL. Overall it took almost 2 qts. of oil, but in the event yours is different, get 3 qts. just to be safe.
2000 Ford Mustang GT Rear Differential with Clean Cover
The tires were put back on and it was time for a test drive down the road.
Total Investment: $28.00 for 3 qts. 80 W 90 Rear Differential Fluid, and $6.00 for Hi Temp. Sealant.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

It's not just a car.

To a rare few, hearing the name "Mustang" is associated with backyard Bar-B-Que's, the American way of life, and more specifically Ford's longest production line of cars. Being one of the few to have been produced for so long, it seems that nowadays you can find one almost anywhere, in varying conditions, with different personas engrained in them. People relatively invest themselves into their autos to gain a level of comfort from either driving long distances, or just cruising on a Saturday night to the local hotspot. Here, you're welcome to post a few pictures of your ride, and write something telling us about it, or yourself, or the premise behind how you came to own one. On occasion we'll highlight a particular ride, depending on what you've done to it, where you've been lately, or any idea that might make a ride stand out from the crowd. We're always looking for a good deal, ideas, innovations and reasonably priced parts. So if you've got something laying around, chances are, someone is looking for it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

American Icon

An American Icon, the Ford Mustang Emblem, from Steering Wheel
It's an American icon...The Ford Mustang. From its beginnings in the mid 1960's to today, it has not lost its curb appeal. As such, this blog is for all Mustang enthusiasts, that have classics to grocery-getters, works in progress to fully restored, who would like to share their photos and/or stories, information on car shows, swap meets or even parts and repairs.